NASCAR Starting Lineup for Wednesday's Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Ryan Blaney draws the pole position for the first night Cup series race in Martinsville history

NASCAR's Cup Series midweek racing experiment comes to an end — at least for now — with the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Wednesday's race will mark the first time in the 71-year history of the track it'll host a Cup event under the lights.

 

The .533-mile, paperclip-shaped oval is already one of the most difficult tracks to navigate on the circuit. Hard on brakes, it's even harder on sheet metal, short track racing at its finest as drivers rub fenders and bump heads.

 

Qualifying is also critically important here; eight of the last nine races have been won by drivers who started inside the top 10. It's yet another advantage that goes to the top-performing teams of 2020, the only ones in position to win the pole according to NASCAR's random draw. With no on-track qualifying due to COVID-19, the lineup was set according to the rules below.

 

Positions 1-12 were drawn among teams ranked 1st through 12th in the owner standings.

Positions 13-24 were drawn among teams ranked 13th through 24th in the owner standings.

Positions 25-36 were drawn among charter teams only (guaranteed spots on the grid) ranked 25th through 36th in owner points.

Positions 37-40 were set by owner points among the four “open” teams who must race in on speed every time out.

 

Only 39 teams were entered for 40 spots on the grid as BJ McLeod's No. 78 chose not to enter this race. Ryan Blaney drew the pole position, one of three Team Penske cars starting inside the top six spots.

 

1. Ryan Blaney

2. Aric Almirola

3. Joey Logano

4. Clint Bowyer

5. Martin Truex Jr.

6. Brad Keselowski

7. Kyle Busch

8. Alex Bowman

9. Kurt Busch

10. Kevin Harvick

11. Chase Elliott

12. Denny Hamlin

13. Erik Jones

14. Tyler Reddick (R)

15. William Byron

16. Ryan Newman

17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

18. John Hunter Nemechek (R)

19. Matt DiBenedetto

20. Matt Kenseth

21. Jimmie Johnson

22. Austin Dillon

23. Bubba Wallace

24. Chris Buescher

25. Corey Lajoie

26. JJ Yeley (i)

27. Cole Custer (R)

28. Ryan Preece

29. Michael McDowell

30. Ty Dillon

31. Brennan Poole (R)

32. Christopher Bell (R)

33. David Starr (i)

34. Quin Houff (R)

35. Garrett Smithley (i)

36. Joey Gase (i)

37. Daniel Suarez

38. Timmy Hill (i)

39. Reed Sorenson

 

(R) – Rookie

(i) – Ineligible to collect Cup Series points

 

QUALIFYING NOTES

  • Ryan Blaney (1st) will start from the pole at a short track for the first time in his Cup Series career (172 starts). Since this pole came from a random draw, it does not count toward 2021 Busch Clash eligibility.
  • Aric Almirola (2nd) will start second for the third straight race. However, he remains without a top-5 finish thus far in 2020. (10 starts)
  • Joey Logano (3rd) now has seven straight top-10 starts.
  • Clint Bowyer (4th) has his seventh straight top-10 start at Martinsville.
  • Tyler Reddick (14th) drew the best starting spot among rookies. He was the highest-finishing rookie of the race last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. (16th)
  • JJ Yeley (26th) jumps back into the No. 27 owned by Rick Ware Racing. He ran Atlanta with Spire Motorsports’ No. 77.
  • David Starr (33rd) makes his 2020 Cup debut in the No. 53, also owned by RWR. It’ll be his first Cup race since November 2018 at Texas Motor Speedway.
  • Garrett Smithley (35th) moves back into the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet. Sponsorship will come from Formula One Imports as he rotates between that car and the No. 53 in RWR’s driver merry-go-round.

NASCAR RACE BREAKDOWN

Race: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500

Track: Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville, Va.)

Date: Wednesday, June 10

Time: 7:20 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 500 laps (263 miles)

Stage 1: 130 Laps

Stage 2: 130 Laps

Final Stage: 240 Laps

 

MIDWEEK ANALYSIS

This week’s edition of FS Wrap-Up with Davey Segal takes a look at how NASCAR tackled the #BlackLivesMatter movement at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His special guest, Rajah Caruth, has plenty to say on the matter as a 17-year-old in the sport’s Drive For Diversity.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 19:00
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